Three persons who were abducted from the University of Calabar staff quarters, in Calabar, Cross River State, on May 2 by gunmen have regained their freedom.
It was learnt on Wednesday that Mrs. Nancy Ndifon and her daughter, Oyeboh, as well as Dr. David Iniama regained their freedom at about 10pm on Tuesday after being held hostage for nine days.
The armed kidnappers had stormed the UNICAL staff quarters and abducted Mrs. Ndifon and her daughter after breaking into their residence at about 9pm, and also kidnapped the third victim, Iniama, who was driving into his nearby residence.
While Mrs. Ndifon and Dr. Iniama are staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Oyebah is said to be a student of the University of Calabar.
The kidnappers had two days after the abduction got in contact with the families of the victims and demanded for N30m each (N60m from both families).
It was learnt on Wednesday that an undisclosed amount of money was paid jointly by both families to the kidnappers before the abductees were released.
A close source to one of the families, who preferred not to be named, said the victims regained their freedom at about 10pm on Tuesday.
“They came back home at about 10pm on Tuesday looking worn out. They will undergo proper medical checks to ascertain their wellbeing but we thank God they came back safely.
“I understand that they paid about N5m that was marked money to the kidnappers but no one has said how much exactly was paid. I gathered that the kidnappers warned them not to disclose the amount they paid as ransom.
“But from what we were told, it was a joint negotiation between both families that led to their release late last night
“Details are not very clear at the moment on where they were taken to and held hostage in the past nine days. We also do not know if any arrest has been made,” she said.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in charge of the Cross River State Police Command, Mr. John Eluu, who confirmed the development, said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the kidnap.
He said the victims regained their freedom following the intense pressure by the police team.
“They were released on Tuesday night. It was as a result of the pressure from the police. The police crack team sent by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, assisted the state command to secure their release.
“I am not aware if any ransom was paid. All I know is that it was as a result of pressure from the police that led to their release. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the kidnap and interrogations are ongoing.”